WWE and AEW Stars Who Need to Turn Heel in 2020
All too often in professional wrestling, characters get the itch to vacate their morals and become villains.
This can be brought about from frustrating losses like Gentleman Jack Gallagher, feeling like the fans aren't appreciative like Seth Rollins, or even just out of adopting a "new year, new me" philosophy.
For whatever reason, it's good for wrestlers to change things up once in a while and get a fresh character.
When it comes to the current rosters heading into 2020, these babyfaces in WWE and All Elite Wrestling should consider turning heel and tapping into their darker sides.
Jimmy and Jey Uso will get a big pop from the crowd when they return to WWE, but they should try out a heel turn at some point.
Right now, there are plenty of babyface teams that wouldn't make any sense as heels: The Street Profits, The New Day, The Viking Raiders and Heavy Machinery.
But if The Revival were to leave when their contracts come up, The Usos could step up to replace them as a credible heel tag team for WWE.
Feuds with The Street Profits and The Viking Raiders would be fresh and exciting matchups for the newly-turned villains.
Coinciding with The Usos turning heel, Naomi should consider doing the same.
It makes things significantly easier than to have backstage segment where she is honorable, yet everyone knows her husband, Jimmy, is a bad guy.
Turning villainous would also freshen her up. She's been a babyface for the past three years and didn't have a particularly long time as a heel in Team B.A.D. to begin with.
Maybe she could explore a villainous character and not just be a stepping stone for other heels to get to more prominent babyfaces such as Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Natalya.
AEW doesn't have traditional heel and face roles, as more nuance is allowed in the characters. Someone like Joey Janela has leeway to be The Bad Boy, but he also has the sympathy of fans after getting blasted with a chair by Shawn Spears.
Recently, though, Janela has been complaining a lot, and it could be the start of a descent into full-blown heel.
He doesn't seem to want to do just the hardcore matches, yet that's what got him to the dance. Abandoning that and going against what the fans want is already a heel move of sorts.
AEW could lean into that by calling him selfish and setting him up as a jerk who thinks he's better than he really is, as evidenced by a win-loss record of 2-9.
That much disappointment will be frustrating and could lead to him turning heel at some point.
Isla Dawn has already shown she has a fondness for the dark side with her Gothic look, yet she's been a babyface throughout her time on NXT UK.
Unfortunately, the Scot has been quickly shoehorned into a spot where she's one of the go-to Superstars to beat for someone on their way to the top.
Once someone dethrones Kay Lee Ray—most likely Toni Storm or Piper Niven—Dawn is in danger of falling victim to that type of booking again if she stays babyface.
If she turns heel, though, she could change that dynamic and become a serious contender in her own right.
Bronson Reed is a huge NXT star who can move quicker than most people his size and is in the same mold as Keith Lee, who blew up in stardom this year.
As long as Reed continues to be a babyface, though, he'll live in the shadow of NXT's resident speedy big man. A heel turn could spell the difference and give Lee a rival to work with in the future.
Reed could use more time learning the ropes before that point, however, and a great tool to help Superstars grow is putting them in a tag team.
Shane Thorne is still in NXT, and the pair have history together as two members of The Mighty Don't Kneel stable in Explosive Pro Wrestling.
The pairing of Reed and Thorne could do wonders for establishing the former as a powerhouse ahead of becoming a credible threat to Lee.
Ember Moon has yet to tap into anywhere near the enormous potential she has. WWE doesn't seem to be willing to give her a solid-enough push and a big reason for that could be her lack of character.
Her entrance is interesting from a visual perspective, but it means nothing. How is she a War Goddess or a Shenom?
Once she gets a microphone, her promos are generic material that anyone else on the roster could say, so she needs something to spark the creativity in her.
When she returns from injury, a big overhaul should happen with her turning heel. Maybe that can bring out the fire inside her.
Certain wrestlers in AEW have yet to establish themselves as naturally more heel or face. It's easy to distinguish the heel between Brandon Cutler and Chris Jericho, but Hikaru Shida is more complex.
While she hasn't been the type to blindside someone and attack them backstage, she also hasn't been outright good or over-the-top heroic.
For the most part, she's a blank slate that leans a little more to a babyface role but nowhere near as much as Riho, Yuka Sakazaki or Britt Baker.
AEW should keep the option on the table for Shida to turn heel in 2020 to freshen things up once fans have seen enough of what Nyla Rose, Bea Priestley and other heels have to offer.
She does sometimes exhibit a ferocity in her matches that could be tweaked to a more nefarious angle if framed in the right context.
That could be all she needs to differentiate herself from her fellow Joshi performers who have been more bubbly in comparison.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.